Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has conceded that his team may need things to start going against Red Bull if they are to win the championship, but anything is still possible in the final 10 rounds of the year.
Both Sainz and team-mate Charles Leclerc have suffered two reliability failures this season, and a mixture of driver errors and strategic blunders have not helped either.
Between them, they have won four races to Red Bull’s eight, and have conceded just three of their eight pole positions this year.
One of those three came from Sainz in Silverstone, but the Spaniard has had little else to shout about in 2022 as misfortune continues to fall his way.
In France last weekend, he was forced to start from the back of the grid, but he recovered all the way up to third before he was called in for a stop to serve a five-second penalty for an unsafe release.
Had he been sent to the end on his Mediums – which he was forced onto from the Hards due to a Safety Car caused by Leclerc’s crash – he might have lost even more ground than he did, eventually finishing P5 behind Sergio Perez.
Max Verstappen took his seventh win of the season, but the silver lining for the Scuderia was that Sainz grabbed the fastest lap, and Perez fell behind Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell as Mercedes got both cars on the podium for the first time this season.
Leclerc trails Verstappen by 63 points after his crash, while Sainz is 89 points off the lead I fourth, so the disadvantage to Red Bull is large – but not unassailable.
“I think it is clear for Ferrari what we need to do, which is to win those races that Max wants to win,” Sainz told Sky Sports ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
“Getting those 25 points makes quite a big difference in the points swing, I think there’s still a lot of things that could happen up there at the front.
“There’s always a great battle going on between the two teams which I think is going to keep going until the end of the year.
“It is true at some point we need a bit of help from Red Bull in terms of reliability and DNFs, but even without those statistically if it’s open, it’s open.
“Until it’s impossible, you need to keep believing and you need to keep trying to win everything you can and keep yourself in the fight.
“We’re going to keep trying, keep improving as a team because whatever we can learn this year can also be used for the next few years.”
The summer break is on the horizon after the race in Budapest this weekend, but a vacation is not on the cards for Sainz.
“I think if you know me you know I will not be laying on the beach,” he added.
“And second of all I don’t really care about the points gap, because for me it’s all about trying to be perfect every single race weekend.
“When you have that gap it’s not like you relax or something, I still want to win more races and that’s what we’ll try to do as a team.”
Red Bull also hold an 82-point advantage over Ferrari going into the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.